'Hundreds missing'

Cruchaga said that emergency aid was being provided to those who had been made homeless, including tents, blankets and food supplies.

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The AFP news agency quoted reports from the village as saying hundreds of people might be missing.

"An entire village, some 400 people, has completely vanished," Jorge Espinoza, a senior official in the Huanuco region, said.

"Some will be saved, but it appears the majority were buried."

The bodies of some victims were recovered from the Huallaga River downstream from the village of Ambo, while others had to be dug out of the mud, local media reported.

Heavy rains

It was unclear how many people were in the village late on Thursday when heavy rains sparked the disaster.

The local media at the scene initially reported 12 dead and 30 missing.

Officials said the mudslide was triggered by a small lake higher up a mountain that overflowed into a ravine.

The deadly mudslide was the second in as many days in Peru. On Thursday, officials said five people were killed by a similar disaster in the town of Cancejos.
  
The rain has been particularly heavy during this year's season in the Andean region, a trend some attribute to climate change.